Sunday, 30 November 2008
Game 07 v (H) Everton
1-0 Loss, 0 points
Total points: 15
Position: 16th (level on points with 18th)
Still in the mire
So much for my 2-1 home win prediction. Not a great result and more than a tad frustrating that we failed to get onto the score sheet. 2nd defeat in 10 for Redknapp. We stay stuck to 16th place and still very much in the relegation mix. West Ham up next. Ominous, ominous, ominous. More or less proves that we've improved since his arrival, but not improved sufficiently enough.
Bale made his 18th Prem League appearance this afternoon. Very late on mind, so we can't lay the blame on him. 3rd successive Everton win at Spurs now. Whatever happened to the days it was a given 3 points for the Lilywhites against the Toffeemen? Whatever happened to the days that David Bentley could deliver a set piece to the head or feet of a team-mate? Santa, are you listening? At least Gomes looks like he is on the road to full confidence recovery.
Everton, bless 'em, deserved the points just for getting the ball past our keeper. Otherwise was pretty much an even game. Deflected goal (from Piennar off Corulka, Gomes no chance) won it for them. They did a proper away-day job on us, and for once, lady luck looked the other way. Howard saving from Pav. One or two other half chances aside, can't complain too much. Didn't do enough. Other than hoping for the return of Modric, Harry has to get this team to work at full pelt otherwise the Hammers (in their seasonal Cup Final) will get all plucky and three-pointy against us) and Utd will win comfortably (even with no Ronaldo thanks to his derby day red card). The midfield today just couldn't out-work organised Everton, much like Fulham out-worked us too.
Maybe can bin this defeat as 'one of those days' and just move onto the next game, positvely.
Level on points now with Sunderland who are 18th. Win next time out is imperative if we are going to get these Dirty Dozen games back onto a winning path.
Friday, 28 November 2008
With West Ham away and Man Utd at home to follow, we need to avoid a dip in our fortunes and get at least 6 points (7 would be nice) out of the next 3 games. Yes, I'm thinking Utd (and Berbatov) will do us over like they always do every sodding season.
13 points thus far. Another 15 or so would do me fine. Modric is still out, which is my main concern. Huddlestone needs to step up and continue his good form and Lennon has to keep on tearing the opposition a new one. I know how to talk up a match, don't I?
Traditionally, we've always tonked Everton or done fairly well at the Lane, but not last time out so here's to Bent re-discovering his goal-scoring (he's on a drought at the minute) and Pav continuing his rich form.
We've yet to havea block-buster Prem performance. I'm getting greedy I know, but would like to see us dominate and boss and bully a team, and take them apart. Would I be stretching the electisity of hope if I also asked for Bentley to put in a good performance?
I'm going for a 2-1 win for us. Not total football. Loads of effort and the odd scary moment, but we'll do just about enough to get the points.
So, this is the week that was (in no particular order):
We won away. 1-0 against NEC. Wasn’t vintage stuff but we played pretty well against a not so strong Dutch team, allowing us to bring on a couple of youngsters (welcome to Obika & Mason) for their debuts late on. O’Hara from a header in the 14th was enough to take us to the brink of qualification. 7 wins in 9 now for Redknapp’s Tottenham.
Are we taking the UEFA Cup seriously? At the moment, we can't. We don't have Pav or Corluka available and the Prem is still the priority. Risking it all for European glory when we are still not really out of the mire would be fools gold. Saftey by Feb, then we can try and win a Cup.
Every player under the sun is being linked to us. Which is no different to most lead-ups to the transfer window. I’m sure the old and trusted formula (Spurs + New Manager x tabloid gossip = Agent Profit) will always win through and having wheeler-dealer ‘arry at the Lane means that there’s deals to be done.
So step forward Adriano, Elano, Cavenaghi, Tymoshchuk, Downing, Podolski, Balotelli……it’s an endless list. And it’s not even December yet.
Tony Parks is our new goalkeeping coach. I think. Actually is this official now? (I’m so on the ball this week).
Hutton is out injured, again, and from the looks of it he'll be out for several months. Thought he looked like a cracking player (going forward at the very least) when he first joined up with us. Looked a mess since returning from his first lay-off, so hoping he returns to a team in winning form next time round and has some of that upbeat confidence about him. His error against Arsenal that resulted in a goal sums up his season. He's been a bit off colour.
In other news a female steward who looks after Block 35 has accused a Spurs fan of making a racist remark. Apparently she lip-read him from distance. 30 yards away. This incident occurred in the midst of the usual ‘Please sit down’ instructions barked by Levy’s foot soldiers. The bloke made no such racist comment, so my message to the steward is best to stop attempting to show off your abilities of reading lips from distance. You’re obviously fucking shit at it. Accusing people of racism is a big deal and just because you are employed by the club doesn’t automatically mean you are right especially when you’ve made a mistake.
I’m sure there’s more for me to talk about.
Simon Clifford (known for his forward-thinking Brazilian Soccer Schools in the UK) wrote possible one of the stupid, bitter and ridiculous articles I’ve read by anyone, for Setanta Sports. But then again, writing a column for Setanta isn’t exactly going to result in masterful and insightful literature. The emphasis on his piece was that even Mickey Mouse could have success at Spurs with the players at his disposal and that Ramos failure was to do with language and the lack of communication meaning that players failed to react positively to training and tactical ideas. He manages to also get a dig in at Kevin Bond, stating he relegated Bournemouth but fails to mention their point’s deduction. And then turns his attention back to Harry saying he wasn’t really that responsible for bringing through the young players at West Ham. Which might be true to an extent (Tony Carr was the Hammers academy director at the time) but the very mention of it is obviously there to serve its purpose at ‘aving a go at ‘arry.
Clifford is a great youth coach. But he is obviously hurting over the clashes he had with Redknapp over training concepts whilst at Southampton. For all of Clifford’s apparent genius – it appears he prefers to write twisted words rather than offer his services to a Premier League team and work side by side with a top class manager. Simon is manager of ‘15th in the UniBond First Division North’ Garforth Town.
And just for the record, we’ve had plenty of Mickey Mouse managers over the years and they all failed miserably.
Challenge Spurs™ preview up next.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Second half, with Rovers down to 10 men was still fairly comfortable thanks to their inability to push forward and apply any type of pressure. Lennon, was in cracking form. Hasn't just put in pacey performances here and there this season, he's actually playing decently week in week out. Another reason to pat Harry Redknapp on the back.
Out of the bottom three, for the second time, and up to the giddy heights of 14th. Nosebleeds all round.
Now the match review is out of the way, let's get down to the business of ironic cheering and Sky Sports who pride themselves on hype and bullshit. See, a game of football is never enough for them. They have to take something and turn it into something else and do their best to make sure it builds a nice bit of momentum so that Sky Sports News have something to talk about every 30 minutes. Although (ironically) we have ourselves to blame for cheering in this manner in the first place, thus given them opportunity to run with it.
Spurs fans cheered with smiles on their faces every time Gomes got hold of the ball without a fumble or flap in sight. Now usually, ironic cheers like these are kept for the visit of David James. These type of cheers are blatantly tongue-in-cheek piss-takes. Because for all of James ability to drop a clanger, he can pull a mighty fine world-class save out of the bag. And we know it. Much like he knows it. There's no argument that these type of cheers are of an ironic nature. And YES, its not the cleverest thing for Spurs fans to do the same thing for their own keeper, because of the way it will be misconstrued.
However, to suggest Spurs fans this afternoon were cynical or negative to Gomes is mountain out of a mole hill ridiculous. That includes you Harry (who mentioned it in a post-match interview). Abusive language and booing is far worse than ironic cheering. And I'll prove it to you.
Back to the suggestion that this form of pisstaking is moral draining is it of the same level as the the Sky Sports Soccer Saturday panel do when they laugh and giggle and make jokes at Gomes expense? If Spurs fans 'hated' Gomes or did not want him in the side they would boo and shout abuse whenever he got the ball, not cheer or sing his name or applaud him - all things that Sky prefer not to mention because if they do, there's no story to be told.
People who publish photos on the back pages of the papers with clever and witty headlines, ridiculing a man for millions of people to read about is something I'd wager more likely to hit his confidence than a few hundred people cheering at a game.
Touched upon it a moment ago, but no mention of the same Spurs fans singing 'We love you Gomes, we do'. Why? Was this an editorial decision to make Spurs fans look bad? How about a news item on the constant booing the Arsenal home fans dish out to their own players. Or are they being ironic?
[ repeating myself ] Ironically cheering an opposition keeper for simple ball handling is what it is - a piss take. [ / repeating myself ]. When you do it to your own, its not the brightest of ideas even when meant in good-humour. But its far from being devastating. Much like Spurs fans singing 'England's Number One' to Robbo last year when he was complete shit. Surely that could be deemed ironic too? No? Robinson appreciated it, much like the positive applause he got from us today (he throw his gloves into the Spurs crowd......on purpose, they didn't slip off his hands).
For every Gomes fuck-up, he's made 3 or 4 great great saves. Doesn't excuse his fuck-ups, but one or two media hacks should concentrate on the facts rather than soap opera sub-plots. That includes Match of the Day 2 this evening.
We sang his name.
He acknowledged us at the start of both the first and second halves of the game, during the game and after it when he APPLAUDED THE FANS.
The fans behind both goals stood up and applauded him.
He even managed a 'thank you' in our direction and was the last Spurs player off the field at the end of the game, having celebrated the three points with the home faithful.
This is Spurs AND Gomes sticking a middle finger up to the armchair pretty-boys and shaved-gorilla(s). I'd say its best next time to leave out the irony, but it was clear to anyone with their eyes and ears open that Gomes was just fine, got over his early mishap missing the ball completely and grow stronger in confidence as the game progressed.
So, fuck you Sky Sports.
And now back to Challenge Spurs™.
13 points in the bag now, halfway through the Dirty Dozen. Still part of the yo-yo that is 20th - 11th, and currently sitting in at 15th spot. Home win next weekend is once again imperative. But can't argue with our current form, even if we are still way way off playing at full capacity. And talk of Europe is still not acceptable.
Everton at the Lane next.
Saturday, 22 November 2008
We never dropped him. His form got worse. And much like the loyalty players 'in-form' don't show to clubs like Spurs when they manoeuvre themselves to Old Trafford, we shifted him out of the club. The irony of replacing him with Gomes and then not dropping Gomes for his current form, is once more wonderfully ironic.
So, expect hilarity of world class proposition on Sunday afternoon, unless 'arry surprises us all with a selection that includes Alnwick or Cesar. King, Woodgate, Jenas and Bale should all be fit and ready for this. Did you shudder when I mentioned Bale?
After the poor showing at Craven Cottage, tomorrow has to be a carnival or electric football, one touch push and run. I'll take a 1-0 scrappy win at this point. Need maximium points from the next three games before we entertain Man Utd and welcome back Berbatov to the Lane.
It's one of those season where I don't think a team in our position (20th - 7th) will be free of the teams around us. Same for all of us in this grouping. You need to win maybe 5-6 games on the trot to start feeling confident of dropping points in successive games. Drop points in successive games at the minute, and you might just find yourselves rock bottom again.
Prediction: 3-1 Spurs.
Unless this is a Utd ploy to force Spurs into bidding for Frazier, which is also unhanded genius as they would want around £7M for him meaning that Fergie and co get back the money that Levy drained out of Utd by prolonging the Dimi transfer saga.
Looks like either way, Spurs will be spending a little money on a forward soon.
Dear Mr XXXXXX,
Thank you for your recent comments on the Northumberland Development Project. We have had a tremendous response to the initial consultation and we really appreciate you taking the time to let us have your views.
You asked a specific question about the atmosphere in the new Stadium. I wanted to re-assure you that the number one brief to our stadium architects is exactly this – to retain the fantastic atmosphere at Spurs. This means ensuring seats are close to the pitch, with quite high banking and un-restricted views for every spectator.
We have looked at and learned lessons from stadia around the world and will provide more details specifically about the stadium design at our next exhibition early next year.
The Northumberland Development Project team
So, the official line from the club is:
This means ensuring seats are close to the pitch, with quite high banking and un-restricted views for every spectator.
That's a quote. Let's wait to see if the promise is fulfilled. Having a ground akin to some of the intense high capacity German stadiums is the only option. As majestic as some people would like to tell you the Emirates is or Eastlands, they are not a patch re: noise on White Hart Lane, even with our smaller capacity.
Next question that needs an answer: "Will you keep the Park Lane season ticket holders together, behind one of the goals?"
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Blackburn and Everton at home are two must-wins. Both at home, both imperative to once more climbing out of the bottom three (which is more or a psychological bottom three rather than an impossible to get out of mathematical one). But in 4-5 weeks time, any team sitting there will have to press the panic button and start praying for a change of form.
We beat the Liverpool reserves with some ease and looked great in possession and going forward, so maybe the doom and gloom of losing Modric isn't that dramatic after all.
Play with confidence, drive and urgency and it should.....should be three points.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Dazza, back in 2004, had a verbal offer for a new contract at Spurs. He was out in the US seeing a specialist about an injury that had seen him sidelined for 2 months. He received a fax from the UK, from a secretary, that simply said:
“We won’t be renewing your contract”
Classy. No phone call. No waiting for a UK return. Just one line of text faxed across the Atlantic. Dazza made sure Levy knew what he thought of the fax. Levy, in response, told Dazza that the club had to make a decision between offering him a contract or Jamie Redknapp. What makes this another perfect illustration of the detachment from footballing reality and Levy’s brain is that the excuse given to Anderton was that Redknapp and his wife were settled in the area, compared to Dazza who was obviously still waiting to settle having lived ‘in the area’ for 12 years.
Yeah sure. Santini (remember him? Christ, why do I still remember him?) didn't want him, so out went Shaggy. But regardless of whether it's up to the clubs discretion on what injury plagued player to retain, it's no way to treat someone who had spent over a decade at the club.
To make matters worse, Levy (at a later date) said that Anderton could have a testimonial only to then find out that the team would be on an end-of-season tour to Malaysia. A testimonial without the actual squad of players representing the club is not a testimonial. Its one man on his own in an empty ground.
It’s a bit of a shame really. He was a loyal and much liked player. Dazzled us a few times too, regardless of the injuries he was one bright spark during a period of time where we didn’t too often shift forwards in the right direction as a club, so had to make do with the odd stand out game(s) here or there as a way to cope with the overall barren, desolate plains of nothingness that us Spurs fans had become accustomed too. He did leave us with a few decent memories. The Famous Five, the Klinsmann season, Euro 96, early 2002 form.
Anderton is still kicking a ball about for Bournemouth. So all the best Dazza/Shaggy/Sicknote, and maybe, like you want, you get to visit the Lane with your current club in the FA Cup. Not quite a testimonial, but close enough.
“I will always have special feelings for Tottenham. They showed me the way in English football. I will never have anything bad to say about the club. I watch every game they play. I was just surprised the team got off to such a bad start because Juande Ramos was a very good coach. Now Harry Redknapp has come in, a very experienced manager, and I am pleased they are going up the table.”
The disruptive Bulgarian has less chance of making peace than I have of spanking Angelina Jolie in a night of light sexual deviance. Brad Pitt would obviously not be present. If he was, and as a consequence, the only chance of me doing Jolie was to double up on her with Bradley, then I would gladly accept, as long as both cockerels were kept apart at all times. I'll only crow for Angelina. I'm not saying he ain't a good looking bloke, no doubt there, but I am strictly centre-midfield and you'll never catch me playing down the muddy slippery flanks.
I’d like to spank Berbatov given half the chance. Across the face. With a dead squirrel. ‘Showed me the way in English football’? That’s the polite way of suggesting we were nothing more than a stepping stone, a stage to show off his array of talents and silky skills allowing Ferguson to decide if Berbatov was good enough for Old Trafford. The only special feelings you have for us is you were able to showcase your talent for one full season, and then only do so a second time round because we wouldn't allow you to leave. This fallacy of you only caring about the simple things in football is just that.
And as for watching all our games since moving on, I doubt that very much. Don’t patronise us please. You fought with Jol. You fought with Tottenham. You practically went on strike. Shut the fuck up, and just take the abuse you’ll get on the chin like any other player (apart from Sol Campbell who doesn’t like to take anything on the chin, according to his PR).
Honest, humble Dimi, who likes to feed the squirrels in solitude with only his deep thoughts as company whilst he contemplates his existence and meaning. Don’t be too shocked or upset when all the squirrels in your back garden suddenly go missing. Not that I would ever set traps for them and sell them to the nearest kebab house for a tidy profit. That would be distasteful and possibly cruel especially to the people who prefer to dine on lamb rather on rodents. Although a dollop of chilli sauce will guarantee you won't be able to tell the difference.
Berbatov is the reason why clubs like Spurs will never push on, much like the eight year old at school who decides it’s easier to support whoever is top of the league whilst the local team loses another prospective future season ticket holder.
So, Dimitar, in conclusion, take your olive branch and stick it up your bollocks.
Thanks to Dan G from gg.net for the photo-shop magic.
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Game 05 v (A) Fulham
2-1 Loss, 0 points
Total points: 12
1 point from safety
I'm glad Harry Redknapp is still talking publicly about a 'relegation battle' as a reminder is needed for the players who decided to believe their own hype and take their eyes off the ball momentarily (figure of speech) to see us lose at Fulham. Yes, it was sort of expected that we would drop all 3 points there because traditionally that's exactly what happens, but I'm still disappointed that we didn't buck the trend a little. A draw and a few wins doesn't mean we are suddenly up and running because its fine giving it some against the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, but its the bread and butter of the teams around us that need to be polished off with more intent and effort than Saturdays mediocre outing.
Bale played, we lost. Again. Poor lad needs to make an appearance when we are 3-0 up with 1 minute to go. Gomes, with yet another match-losing howler. Words escape me for the hilarity of the situation. A £9M legacy from the exceptional Comolli that will continue to haunt. Is Cesar not an option? This same scenario is reminiscent of the Paul Robinson saga which saw us keep the faith with him until no confidence or ability was left in him to do the basics right.
Drop him. Let him retain some kind of integrity as he re-builds his composure. Unless of course, what we see is what he does week in week out. Which in that case, let's just hope he doesn't cost us too many points before the Jan window re-opens. Arguably, on the flip side, he produced some amazing saves. Conundrum is our Gomes. As for Bale. Shocking again.
And the rest? Apart from maybe Modric (who left the field of play with an injury) the rest were average, making Fulham look far better than they actually are.
Onwards and upwards please.
Friday, 14 November 2008
Total points: 12
I think we've managed to win just once in 7 or so Prem visits to Craven Cottage. It's a bit of a jinxy place for us, which has seen us either drop points in the last minute or simply get out played from the off. I'm sure Fulham will get at us, and swing the corners and crosses in hoping for some Gomes flapping to help them get their noses in front. I think this game is going to be a test for us, playing a team that is quite obviously not within a light year of Arsenal or Liverpool. Our rejuvenated lot have to turn up for these games too. Considering the amount of points lost to the lickle clubs, I'd say 3 points tomorrow is vital. Don't want to be sitting bottom again by quarter to five.
The squad for tomorrow?
Tottenham: Gomes, Cesar, Hutton, Bale, Gunter, Dawson, Woodgate, Corluka, O'Hara, Zokora, Bentley, Huddlestone, Jenas, Gilberto, Modric, Bostock, Dervite, Lennon, Bent, Campbell, Pavlyuchenko, Stalteri, Rocha, Taarabt, Boateng, Ghaly, Assou-Ekotto.
OH NOES! Ekotto is back. Don't think we'll see too many changes from our last Prem game up at Eastlands. Modric, Bentley, Bent and co all return. King should partner Woodgate.
As for Fulham, they have enough in the way of irritating players that tend to do ok against us. Zamora, Johnson, Murphy etc. And Bullard puts himself about, so all eyes on our centre-midfield. Its the type of team (Hull, Stoke, Wigan) that we've struggled against. I know it's all pre-'arry, but our winning run can't go on forever. I thought City away was the banana skin. Will Fulham break our hearts again?
Prediction: 2-1 Spurs
- Restrictions on food served at the training ground, resulting in players sneaking off to a local Italian restaurant.
- No Ketchup or mayonnaise.
- Had to stay in hotel at Canary Wharf before all home games.
- On evenings before match days, all players had to go first to training ground to leave their car even if they live in Canary Wharf. Then coach takes them back to hotel in Canary Wharf.
- Ledley King played in the Uefa Cup.
- Healthy food at training ground, but no limits on portions.
- Stay at home the night before home games.
- King playing only in Premier League matches.
- Dollops of ketchup and mayo.
Football. Keep the man-management simple because footballers are children at heart.
Existing season ticket holders, and seat prices/stand names, to be transferred as closely as possible from WHL. So in the new stadium, everyone who's got a season ticket for the Park Lane gets a season ticket behind the goal at the Northumberland end for the same price (or the same price ratio in comparison with a ticket in the new West Upper), everyone who's in the Shelf corner gets moved to the corner next to that end, and so on, and on matchdays the cheapest tickets in the new stadium are in the bits which are cheapest now, and - well, actually this bit is architectural, put all the executive boxes and corporate crap in the mid-level and upper tier of the new "West" (i.e. actually now East) Stand.
This is something I've always failed to understand when other clubs don't attempt to retain some form of structure when migrating us fans across to a new ground. Personally think this is vital for us. And Levy best listen to the voices of thousands because if he is genuine with his promises on atmosphere then this is simply the only way to achieve it.
More quotage (this time belonging to Danish White):
The key criteria apart from the obvious stuff like view, safety, catering, access etc should well be:
Acoustics: You really, really do some freaking research in the sound patterns of the pitch, simulated with "soft" background of the stands filled with fans in clothing and all. How hard can it be, seriously. Be an an avante garde for bloody once and be the club who creates a fans ground created for atmosphere !
Proximity: Spare space from touchlines and sidelines should be the absolute minimum allowed for excess pitch feet, space for warmups, add boards and stewards. No a single inch more, not a single.
Denseness of internal build: Upper tiers need to be as advanced to the pitch as possible and wherever possibly by any means should the design aim to allow for more seats upwards on the stand by tilting the stands as steeply vertically rather than horizontally to create space upwards above the pitch rather than outwards towards the streets. Anybody disagreeing with this part can impossibly have been to Bernabeu and felt the thrill in the upper ranks.
If Spurs get this right, then we'll have the best ground in the country, apart from maybe Old Trafford which retains its tradition by being an old stadium built new and expanded. If we get it wrong, you might just find yourself sitting next to Billy Glory-Hunter more interested in the half-time ribs than the action out on the field.
Our enemy will not be Levy, but more so the architects who have this mis-conception that the most vital thing regarding the football experience is comfort, plenty of leg-room and having the best view possible. No thanks. Give me White Hart Lane any day of the week. Compact, busy and loud.
Spurs rated 11th biggest club in the world.
3 times European qualification.
Carling Cup winners.
All down to him according to himself. He doesn't say that directly of course, but implies it.
"I had a lot of success. I did a lot of good for the team and left a club in great shape"
No you didn't. The club was a complete and utter mess thanks to the DoF system and your ability to avoid the most vital of signings at key moments.
"The current results are showing what I did for Tottenham. The team is great and young"
The current results are a consequence of Ramos and you being sacked. We were rock bottom, disharmony in the dressing room.....you did what for Spurs?
"I am still asking myself what happened in the end. I don't understand it. I advised the club to take a coach (Ramos) and it went well at first. But when he had problems the club turned on me. I am leaving a club with a lot of assets, many, many players"
Obviously someone needs to take Damien aside and explain what constitutes success. In Ramos, he bought in the wrong person for the job. If the rumours that Juande stopped learning English 2 months ago are true, then you do the maths. As shown in a previous blog posts, yes, Mr Comolli you did bring in some decent players but you never addressed the main issues that's left us with an unbalanced team.
Buying players isn't a difficult job. Bringing in the likes of Corluka and Pav (who I hope go from strength to strength) and having them both cup-tied for the UEFA Cup isn't what you would call world-class scouting and acquisition. Zokora, Kaboul etc.....let's not cover ground covered yesterday.
There's no doubt the quality of players we've had at Spurs recently has been fantastic compared to maybe 5/6 years ago. But signing Bentley/Modric and the likes is something I could do with a wad of money and a private jet. He was meant to be a prodigy. A true scout who would uncover gems for little money. Compare us to Arsenal in that respect and Comolli has hardly done a thing for us. But then, you didn't really do much at Arsenal so not sure why I even mentioned this this aspect of your role. Maybe to highlight what a mistake it was to employ you in the first place?
Fact is, a true scout would sign the likes of Corluka BEFORE he signs for the likes of City. Plucking players from other Premiership games when every man and his dog can 'scout' him via tv coverage is not deserving of exceptional credit.
Players of an unknown quality you have drafted in (Ghaly, BAE etc) have been resounding flops.
My final point on this (I promise) is that overall there is no complain of the quality brought in, but for what you are meant to be you haven't done a thing that could be considered exceptional.
Yes, over at Setanta Sports the usual pro-Top 4 biased commentary kicked into over-drive. As per usual. Obviously they agreed with the Liverpool fans that the Bale tackle should have led to a penalty and thus moaned about "The overall poor reffing (sic) of the entire game" adding that "Rafa has every right to be disappointed" (That's Rafa, first name terms there - our man was always referred to as Redknapp).
On came the usual soundbites defending the defeat. Rafas shadow side/second string/youngsters apparently 'outplaying us' on occasions against an 'experienced Tottenham side'.
Sky's commentary from their SKY Live Score Centre bore more of the same:
"Boateng runs into the track of Babel but somehow earns himself a free-kick"
"I hardly dare say it, but it looks like Spurs are there now - the quarter finals await"
Hardly dare say what? The result was never in doubt and was fully deserved. I'm sure if Liverpool had won we would have heard about Rafa's brilliant selection of randoms out-smarted Tottenham's first eleven. As for Boateng, he was fouled. Or is it not permitted to be a victim?
I can forgive the Daily Mail for telling everyone that we were lucky against City and even going back to the Arsenal game (they cant kill a team off) and the Liverpool result (they don't know how to score) and can doubly forgive them for having four photographs from the 4-4 derby, three of which were Arsenal players celebrating their goals. I can forgive them because the Daily Mail is a rancid mess of a cuntness.
Setanta and Sky should try to break their mould once in a while. Match of the Day too. But then the whole point is that the 'elite' deserve the coverage they get because they are the best in the land. But the bias which is blatantly apparent within the coverage is now beginning to bore me.
It's ok for Liverpool to lose games, it really is.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Now that's a proper football ground. But then the Germans know how to do football efficiently (booze, cheap season tickets, cracking atmospheres).
Click here for a press release (via the Hornsey Journal) that covers off the current plans for re-development.
And here's the first look at the prospective design and how we plan to shift away from White Hart Lane forever, and into the Virgin Media Dome, or whatever the fuck we plan to call it:
For the full technocolor pdf click on this link: http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/uploads/assets/docstore/Booklet_Web.pdf
Spurs were lucky to score four goals, all from defensive errors, and Liverpool should have won, but were cheated out of the game by the ref and Gareth Bale pretending to tackle when in fact he committed a cynical foul. But enough about what Liverpool fans thought of the game.
In all fairness, gloating should be kept to a minimum based on the fact that this wasn’t a full strength Reds side. We've already beaten that version.
So, yes, they made 10 changes and played their reserves. And yes, we made 7 changes (no King, Woodgate, Jenas, Bent, Modric, Bentley etc) and used other first team players. Is it our fault we appear to have better depth for these type of occasions? Even the Prince had time to come on and show-off a little. This wasn't our strongest side, but having Hoddlestone centre midfield, spraying balls all over the pitch (ooh) and the team pushing forward with intent, purpose and < insert other buzz words to help illustrate how decent we were on the night > helped make this even more comfortable.
Let's not forget a few years back (Fredi's handball) losing on pens to a team of Liverpool reserves. No mistake this time out. They weren’t up for it. We were and nobody is going to frown at 3 goals in 6 minutes of frantic play, and ending up eventual 4-2 winners. Their goals weren’t even proper goals. Early Christmas presents thanks largely to the flapping and mistiming of our calamity keeper, Gomes (they could argue the same about ours). Though credit to his bravery later on that saw him leave the field on a stretcher, but apparently (according to ‘arry) was well enough to grab a post-match Chinese with some of the other players. Sadly, he’s available for Fulham away.
Campbell looked electric, teaming up with Pav. Both shared the goals on a night that even witnessed several Ole, Ole, Ole moments as we passed the ball around. Got to love the over-excitability of the home crowd. Quarter-finals next. Chelsea knocked out by Burnley, so we’ll get Man Utd away no doubt. While The Kids© will get another home tie.
This win made it the best start to a Spurs reign by a newly appointed manager. You have to go back 110 years to a certain Frank Brettell (what, you’ve never heard of him?) to find a better record. All this after our worst start to a season ever.
Never a boring second supporting this lot.
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Yes. You've guessed it. My brother-in-law has made it a brace. This time, meeting Teddy in the McDonalds in Waltham Abbey (honestly, if you want to stalk Spurs players - get over to WA!).
Said hello, shook his hand, had a quick chat. Asked him if he was 'joining' Harry at Spurs, and he replied 'NO' but was smiling. Which doesn't tell us anything.Next week: My brother-in-law bumps into John Terry in Kings Road and knees him.
Wind-up? Or carefully placed dis-information? If this story appears on Sky Sports News today, then Owen was at the Lodge this morning - no question about it.
You ain't seen me...........right?
If having Ledley wasn't frustrating enough?
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
I was never a fan of his (you'd never have guessed that, right?) but more so was never a fan of the director of football structure. Chief scout working as a bitch to the manager, closing deals the manager has requested is how it should have worked rather than taking responsibility of transfers away from the coach. We all know it was an overly simplistic system when noted on paper but in reality it created confusion and chaos in-house and on the terraces with nobody ever knowing who was directly responsible for the internal politics that undermined the likes of Jol. Obviously Levy, but see, he sits on the side of 'I'm dumb with the football thing and entrust my DoF to make sure all things go as planned', so as this paragraph descends into literal suicide, it serves its purpose to prove that Comolli leaving and Levy finally admitting defeat is a great day for traditionalists.
Will it be great for Saint-Etienne? Possibly. Possibly not. Don't care. So what of Damien's reign as top cockerel at WHL? Was he really THAT bad? Was he simply an easy target, with us only selecting examples of transfers that didn't quite work out (no different to a manager with no technical director influence buying the wrong player - and how many times has that happened?) and not giving him credit when he did bring in someone decent?
The fickleness is strong amongst us. He was celebrated for a period of time, believe it or not. When things were going well on the pitch. When we signed Zokora (and he was photographed with the player by a Spurs fan abroad) many of us saw this as a major coup. A real proper DM, proven African Nations class. And he also signed Berbatov (his first signing in fact). Or did Jol tell him to scout Berbatov and sign him? And was Berbatov really a good signing considering the mess its left us in? Harsh I know - because there's no way of knowing who or when a player will act in such a disloyal way. The point is, was Comolli actually 'ok' at his job?
Bent (initially slated by all), Corluka, Woodgate, Bale, Hutton, Modric, Bentley - all arguably very very decent players (Bale and Hutton still trying to reclaim some form after returning from injury and Bentley and Modric finding their level after a slow start). Most Prem teams outside the 'Top Four' would be happy to take these players off our hands (by most I mean Aston Villa). Modric is arguably good enough for a Top 4 club. And might well be playing for one in a season or two. Hmm. Anyways, all good good players. Maybe purchased for a little bit too much, but that's up the bank and not, I would expect the DoF.
Some managers spend millions on players of their own choosing, who flop and get sold on - so if Comolli was discussing targets at all times with the 'coach' and only going out to sign a player the coach wanted 100%, then was he doing anything wrong? Was he not just doing his job? Following orders? Players who we apparently missed out on due to chairman interference ('he is too old' - 'he wants too much in wages') is surely down to Levy and Levy alone. Up to the bank, right?
But isn't it Comolli who advises Levy who should be manager? Surely someone with that much responsibility and power wouldn't then become a lap dog for someone he appointed? Would he?
But what of Ghaly or Kevin Prince 'everyone thinks I was German Young Player of the Year when actually I wasn't' Boateng? Or Rocha? Or Taraabt? Or Gilberto? Or BAE? Kaboul? And Zokora obviously. Or Zokora. And Zokora. That Zokora. Oh Christ, Zokora.
We have spent millions on players that don't appear to be signings the coach might have wanted or singled out as targets. Millions of pounds playing reserve team football without a squad number. Yet where are the player we so desperately require? The cheap and cheerful engine-rooms and grafters? Not every player has to be box-office.
And when we need a replacement for Berbatov along with a defensive midfielder we got nothing. He never got on with Jol and along with his pal Kemsley got Ramos to walk out of Sevilla for us, which turned out to be an epic failure too far. So surely an inability to work with someone like Jol and Ramos out-weighs any successful signing? But if he's empowered by the chairman, the buck should stop with Levy. But it doesn't. And gone is Comolli.
Apart from the nitty gritty of transfers, arguably, you could say his other main directive is to avoid mass upheaval and sign players the next manager can work with - all of course within the DoF structure. So basically, Comolli is responsible for the vision and progression of the club, and no matter who we sign, the 'next' coach can ease in and continue the training of the first team.
But now, this ethos, no longer exists, so players like Modric and Bentley - bought by Comolli for Ramos and were not used properly are now finding their way under Redknapp who HAS used them properly. But then any manager probably would have done so. In fact, if the players are good enough, it doesn't really matter who the coach is as long as he can man-manage.
What pro-Comolli supporters will tell you, as I've hinted earlier, is that he hasn't done that bad compared to other managers (DoF free) with signings. But again (repeat mode) him being there as a buffer between chairman and coach, protecting the chairman serves no purpose to the fans or the club in the long term.
Let's take a look at his signings:
Berbatov £10.9M - For the money spent and low-key status of the Bulgarian (not everyone had heard of him) this was a great signing. The first made by DC, and ironically the one that would prove (partly) pivotal in his downfall, thanks to Levy's dithering.
Assou-Ekotto £3.5M - Why, why, why? He has one move. You know the one. It's the one where he moves to go one way and goes the other instead.
Zokora £6M - After the first season, everyone hoped to see the real Zokora - the one that played a handful of games in the African Nations - in his second year at the Lane. What we got in year two was first season Zokora, slightly degraded, but with additional dance moves. An engine he has, but its not enough. Footballing brain is a standard requirement. Doesn't score goals, likes to play act and is pretty much the definition of not what to spend £6M + on.
Dervitte undisclosed - Not seen much of him, but I'll put this type of signing down to the quintessential 'we've signed a captain of his country (be it at youth U-21 level)' Spurs signing that we never see break into the first team because they never turn out to be good.
Malbranque £3.5M - Great player to have in the squad and team, and our most consistent performer last season. Would flourish under Redknapp. Why was he sold to Sunderland? Did we need the extra few million, perhaps for investment in the hopefully re-designing of Chirpy's head?
Chimbonda £4M - Infuriating player. Mercenary who had a few decent games, because he can play, but has shown himself up (Cup Final anyone?) and since joining Sunderland has continued to prove this point.
Mido £4.5M - Really helped us when he first signed up, influential up front, giving us somethign different. The weight/injury problems means he will probably never consistently perform for any one club.
Rocha £3.5M - Why?
Alnwich undisclosed - Is he still on loan? Another 'highly rated youth player' who we've seen nothing from. Apart from his dick in a mobile phone sex video.
Bale £5M - Great talent, but is possessed by evil spirits. Why was this not uncovered during scouting missions? Has never won a Prem game for Spurs, and never will till he is exorcised
Berchiche undisclosed - Another one for the future, but he has a few years before we can chalk this off as a faded dream.
Taarabt undisclosed - Zidane on LSD. Has had some tasty games for the reserves, that are made up of 10-30 second bursts of genius, followed by playground football. A kid with immense ball skills, but suffering from Zokorapsy. If he doesn't learn to do the simple things, he'll never make it.
Bent £16.5M - Masses of money spent on him. The ones who didn't want to take the abuse that Bent was a waste of money will tell you he was bought for that much at the time because we needed someone to take the helm from Berbatov. Except, Berba was still with us for a season - along with Keane and Defoe, so Bent's form and confidence suffered as he sat it out on the bench. Still, over-inflated price (thanks to West Ham for matching Charlton's estimation). We were still the mugs that paid it. £9M would have been fine based on modern day wastefulness. Still, at least he is now starting to repay us. But why he was bought originally when we did not require a forward, especially when the money could have been spent elsewhere is.....Comolli's guess.
Kaboul £8.2M - Stupid. Another 'captain', another average player. Struggled thanks largely to the poor start to the season we had, but showed glimpses of something. That something then turned to nothing, confirming he was shit. Now at Pompey (bought by Redknapp, which is something that I'll worry about depending on how Harry does in the Jan window). Complete and utter waste of money. You do not spend £8.2M on a 'potentially great player'. Potential is another word for 'maybe'.
Rose undisclosed - Decent young Lennoneque player, without the bling baggage. One to watch and maybe a gem. As long as he stays away from Buckhurst Hill.
Boateng £5.2M - Much hyped because he has 'Prince' in his name and has tattoos. Looked well over his head when he did play for us, but he just might come good. Has 'grown up' since he got relegated to the reserves (basically, he realised he was being a dick and has got back to proving his worth as an up and coming prospect by concentrating on his football, because Christ, he ain't no superstar). Harry has brought him back into 1st team affairs, so a second chance is on the cards. Did we sign him because Sevilla were looking at him when Ramos was still there? Doubtful you think, as Ramos never went anywhere near him selection wise.
Gunter £2M - Decent player. Another gem, we hope.
Woodgate £7.5M - Doesn't take a DoF to look towards bringing Woody to Spurs, does it? Any manager at Spurs (considering our CB issues) would have looked to bring him in. Am I side-stepping a compliment for Comolli? Yes. Yes, I am.
Hutton £8M - Probably a bit too much for a Scottish player. Looked superb getting forward before injury. Bit of a crock performance wise since coming back. Comolli bought him on the strength of one of his scouts (Alex Ferguson).
Gilberto £1.9M - Brazilian? If he's Brazilian, so are my nuts.
Modric £15.8M - Brilliant little player. Gem for sure. Diamond in fact. But what does it say about the working relationship of Ramos and Comolli when Modric is stuck in awkward formation positions and struggles to impress? Harry comes in and does what everyone would do - let him play as a classic free-roaming number 10. Spurs did well to sign him. He's a typical flair Spurs type of signing and one we needed after losing the vision of Berbatov. I'll give Comolli props for getting the signature, but what did Ramos actually ask for? A left-winger?
dos Santos £4.7M - Either he is an extreme talent (if so, why did Barcelona let him go?) or he's a one-trick pony. IMO, was thrown into the deep end in a shit team. When he returns from injury, hope to see him settle and play. Might not be good enough for Bojans Barca, but he'll do fine in the Premiership. But Spurs should not have pushed this as a major coup with additonal 'he'll be a fully fledged first team player' soundbites. We needed something a little more complete. dos Santos is for the future. He's got a while to go before we can claim to have the best young Mexican player.
Gomes £9M - He plays brilliantly against us (for PSV) in one game and that's enough to value him at a hefty £9M and also pencil him in as a steady, reliable replacement for Paul 'I once had a HUGE long term contract at Spurs' Robinson. Instead we got a very good shot-stopper who is prone to amazing lapses in concentration and experiences yo-yo confidence. In other words, we spent almost ten million to bring back Paul Robinson.
Bostock £700k - Gem, gem, gem. Whether we have the development lined up for him is something I can only pray for. This kid can plaaaay. So credit here.
Bentley £15M - A typical superfluous luxury Tottenham type of player. Not really needed, when you consider what was needed pre-season. We lose Robbie Keane, so quick-sharp, we get a new poster boy. Not that Robbie was ever a poster boy. However, confidence makes people forget the past and look to the future, and Bentley is showing some quality now that he and the team are playing with swagger. Still not worth £15M, and might yet still go missing in games, depending on whether the gel keeps his hair in place.
Sanchez undisclosed - Backup keeper. Fairly impossible to be critical of this signing. Until he plays and concedes three.
Pavlyuchenko £14M - He might have the fashion sense of a blind chav let loose in Primark, but he seems honest, but not in a soppy way Rebrov was. Might have no pace but once he settles in England, he might be very decent for us. A snip at £14M. I'm trying not to be critical of the player, so I wont. I'll be critical of Comolli however who saw fit to spend this staggering amount of money on a player who had just done 5 months of Russian football. Arshavin would cost us £20M tops. We don't ever spot a bargain do we?
Corluka £8.5M - Can cover three or so positions. Has looked good and has looked average, but with Mordic at Spurs, bringing him in was inspired. I don't want to sound like a broken record and criticise the fee, and when you compare the amount spent and see it matches up with the money spent on Kaboul, this transfer still manages to make me feel a lot better, even though it shouldn't. But I wonder what kind of defender we could have got for £16M.
Campbell loan - Manchester United laughing at us.
So, the list more or less has as many hits and misses as you'd expect from most clubs who go with a more traditional manager-with-no-director-of-football-system. The lack of transparency means we simply can't be certain how much influence Jol and Ramos had during their time there and how involved Levy truly was. So, be it Comolli the glorified scout/contract man or be it Comolli the would be architect of glory - the only thing certain is he was one cook too many around the broth.
Comolli, having inherited a team built by Frank Arnesen's and Martin Jol - who finished 5th - he got Jol sacked and left us wanting a DM and a LW even after spunking £150M. He simply never bought the right players for the right (or left) positions when most required.
This system doesn't, didn't work.
The comedy Comolli complaints have now ceased. Forever.
With the media-shy Levy getting in as many soundbites and quotes as humanly possible, and Ramos quietly accepting the £1.7M pay-off we were treated to a slice of Poyet-pie. Remember him? Meant to be one of the promising young coaches in the country. Nonsense Gus looked the part up until he had to do every post-match interview with a glum look on his face telling us Bent and Pav can't play together, along with how unacceptable one defeat after another (and another) was.
He's come out all guns blazing, pointing his finger in the direction of Mr Chairman. Subject material? Berbatov of course.
With Levy telling us his side of the story the week before, Poyet manages to echo what most people truly believe. That Levy completely mis-managed the whole sorry saga from start to finish.
£6M 'more' made on the transfer for waiting until the final rather than sell him the end of May. And his comment about 'How much is six points worth?' is something most of us have pointed out (in the sense that starting the season lacking strength up front meant that over the course of the season we could lose £6M or more by finishing in a low position).
Poyet also slates the players for being flash, citing one 20 year old Spurs 'star' for spending a bit of money on a Ferrari and then drops the bombshell that although it was a 'great job' at Spurs, he wasn't involved as much as he wanted to be.
Ok. Firstly, Berba. Regardless of the shambles our summer transfer melee was, why is it that Harry Redknapp took all of 3 seconds to get the team working as a unit? Bent is scoring goals. Modric has found his way around the Premiership and we are winning games, home and away.
Same players Gus. No different to what you and Ramos had. Why was Bentley and Modric marginalised into playing unconventional roles in the team, out of their positions? And if you were not involved as much as you wanted to be, then what exactly was your involvement? Glorified interpreter? Ramos really was lost over here, wasn't he?
And shock horror, all footballers are twats. Buying a Ferrari, paying for hookers, getting a hair transplant then shaving it off, losing thousands on cards.....they are boys who can afford bigger toys than the average boy. Don't be jealous.
Sorry it didn't work out. And tbh, no hard feelings. Good luck, and if you are still wondering about the Newcastle job my advice would be - don't be a mug.
Monday, 10 November 2008
Maybe someone can shed some light on how 'Roman' is actually phonetically pronounced in English, as my brother-in-law called out his name twice to no avail, until Pav finally turned round realising someone was obviously attempting to attract his attention.
Doubt he understood a word, but hands were shaken and a 'good luck, happy to have you at Spurs' exchange took place with the Russkie smiling and nodding. One of the counter-girls told my brother-in-law this was the first time she had seen him shopping there without his interpretor. Looks like he's venturing out all on his own now. Bless.
And what was our (probably) £40,000 a week striker shopping for? A £20 Tesco's DVD player. That's almost forgiveable considering his current living arrangements.
The Louis Vuitton man-bag, however, is not.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
Game 04 v (A) Manchester City
2-1 win, 3 points
Total points: 12
'Out of the bottom three'
It was meant to be tricky. Bolton, Arsenal, Liverpool and City. Four daunting games for a sorry Spurs team with no confidence, direction or sense of balance. Yet Harry Redknapp's honeymoon period seems to be going longer than a groom on a triple dose of Viagra. Four games, 10 points. Just two points dropped.
Modric given the freedom to express himself, tucked behind the front man but roaming all over the shop. Bent re-discovering his goal-scoring form. He suddenly looks a bit good. Humble pie all round?
So Spurs, a proper team now, keeping possession and playing with confidence. Coming back from one down to win - away. Its dizzying stuff. Manchester City, consistently inconsistent. Hughes blaming the ref and the wet ground, otherwise they would have won comfortably. Keep on believing Sparky, just keep on believing.
Sure, today we were a little casual at times, and with City down to 9 men (thanks to red cards and that wonderful referee) we should have been a little more comfortable going into the final ten minutes. Assou-Ekotto also saw red for us, but arguably not having him on the pitch was an advantage. Maybe we can make it a double and ask Zokora to lunge in with two feet next time. Or perhaps, and I know this is revolutionary in thought, we could look at not starting either of them.
So, great start to the game, tidy football and Modric coming close. Only then to go 1-0 down. Ekotto forgetting his positional responsibilities and Robinho netting after Gomes could only parry the ball. Bit messy.
Fernandes then gets sent off for a second bookable offence, and not long after Bent runs onto the ball after Dunne drunkly allowed the ball to whizz past him. Bent made no mistake, 1-1. The second was created by the returning Jenas, chesting the ball and laying it off for Bent (all from an inital Huddlestone pass). Bent brace. Glory! Dunn then sent off for taking Bent down (who was clean through) then Ekotto picked up a red card for a clumsy foul on Zabaleta.
For animated picture footage, just watch MoTD2 for the obligatory 2 minute Spurs footage and analyisis.
I'm not going to put on my '6th spot isn't that far away' hat on just yet. Any club sitting between 20th and 5th spot can get into Europe or be relegated. Exciting stuff. Lose next week, and we could be bottom again. Win, and it wil be our best run of league form since quite a while. So onwards to the next four games of the Dirty Dozen run of fixtures:
(A) Fulham - Hoping for 3
(H) Blackburn - Hoping for 3
(H) Everton - Possible draw, thus 1
(A) West Ham United - Hoping for 3
Followed by Man Utd (then Newcastle, Fulham again, then WBA). There's room for a lickle defeat somewhere in amongst those games. Just the one mind. It's looking like a festive happy-go lucky Christmas for the Spurs.
Oh, and no Gareth Bale today either. No Bale = Prem win.
Friday, 7 November 2008
All we need now is the re-introduction of a little mayo, and we'll be climbing that table in no time.
WE'RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE!
Total points: 9
2 points from safety
Like a 45 year old porn star making her 8th comeback, the Premier League is wide open. Even if Redknapp suffers his first defeat as Spurs manager, the doom and gloom of 3 weeks ago wont be able to muster the strength to rear its ugly head in our direction. We are just 6 points from 7th spot. Now steady on, I'm not waving my Barcelona shirt above my head and whistling the theme from the Champions League. I'm not even going to talk about the possibilities of igniting UEFA Cup qualification from a league position. I'm simply illustrating the fact that as shit as we've been this season, up to the Ramos sacking, we are not superglued to the bottom three. And even the club in 7th place will be looking over her shoulder if results go wrong. Entertainment made in England.
I doubt we can go the full Dirty Dozen fixtures unbeaten, but I'm willing to bet my soul we will be nowhere near the bottom come January. Mid-table will do. Home games will be where we pick up the majority if not all the three-points, so draws away will also do fine. Confidence off and on the pitch best served with a Spanish omelette of despair, just for reminders.
So, with City away on Sunday, anything must just happen. I'm sure it will be a goal-fest. They will no doubt attack attack attack and regardless of their poor form generally over the past few games, they might accept a Gomes flap or two. And as for us, we'll be up for it. This is still the potential banana skin, IMO.
As for Spurs, been another eventful week (although we still got the weekend bit to go and mess it up for us).
4-0 at home in Europe. Yes, the opposition was arguably a bit pony - but the swagger was back. Some very decent tidy football, great in possession and movement and Darren Bent all smiles with a sweet hat trick thanks to the involvement of the slow-brooding beast that is Tommy Huddlestone (who also got on the score sheet with a tasty volley). Modric did well against his old team mates and apart from Hutton (who looks out of sorts) everyone seemed to enjoy the evening. Even Gomes, who decided this would be the night to keep a clean sheet.
Bostock made his debut and no doubt we'll be seeing more of him through out the season. Looks assured and has quite a shot on him. Let's try and not fuck up his career, right?
In other news, ENIC (that's Levy to you and me) bought another 2.8 million worth of shares in THFC lifting their stake in the club to 71%. Apparently works out to around 85.5% ownership of the fully diluted share capital. I suppose news that we only paid Ramos £1.7M (£2.5M including Poyet and co's severance pay) has allowed a bit of a pre-Xmas spending spree for Daniel. Don't go spending it all! Apparently there's a little Russian who play for Zenit who wants to come to Spurs.
Another twist in this summers epic saga. Arshavin apparently is a bit angry. He is gutted the transfer to Spurs never happened and has to endure digs from team mates (and Dick Advocatt, believe it or not) after every Spurs match. Although arguably what they possibly could have been saying when Ramos was manager is anyone's guess.
"Hey Andrie, you Champions League mug. You are here instead of being bottom of the Premiership! Ha ha in your face"
Riiiiiight. Regardless, he has told the media that after his deal fell through, everyone took an interest and look out for our results. However, you want to be a little anal retentive about it, he doesn't actually say he wants to come here now. Just that his team mates are taking the piss out of the fact that he never joined us (these Russians have got piss taking all wrong).
Let's remember a month ago, he was too good to join us. And now, he wish he had. Footballer, hey?
Moving from on the pitch to off it. Joe Jordan has left Pompey, so expect him at WHL soonish. Along with Sir Les of Ferdinand who will join the coaching the staff to help out the strikers. Don't mind Les at all. Proper Spurs fan who loves the club, so having him out on the training field is a good move. Still don't know or understand why Sherwood is there. As for Jordan, I don't mind him. If he does sign on, then that's ok with me.
Monday, 3 November 2008
Fans/the media alike have been citing us and Newcastle amongst one or two others as being in a dogfight, but if you take a quick gander, anyone who lacks form over the next 6 games will plummet. And it may well be the case that come Christmas, there maybe several clubs swapping places at the bottom faster than you can say 'three points' with no apparent certainty who might go down.
It's a bit zany, innit?
Saturday, 1 November 2008
Game 03 v (H) Liverpool
2-1 win, 3 points
Total points: 9
2 points from safety
For a good 60 minutes I was miserable. Cold, wet and frustrated. I doubt nobody will argue the fact that Liverpool are pretty great in possession. Whereas all we could manage was Gomes passing the ball to BAE and BAE passing it back to him. It was just turning out to be one of those games. We were not particularly bad, we just never got going and Liverpool did their very best to make sure we never came anywhere close to it. They dominated the match and could have had a bundle of goals.
It started well for them 3 minutes in with Kuyt smashing the ball in from a Robbie Keane lay-off after some lame defending on our part and they continued in the same vein, almost scoring 4 or 5 times.
I'm sure I wasn't the only one in the ground getting a bit of an itchy feeling that the longer the game went on the better the chance we had of getting something out of it - just because of that ominous feeling that the Reds were a little wasteful.
Harry took off the only two left-footers in the side (BAE and O'Hara) and brought on Hutton and Pavlyuchenko. Although taking off BAE wasn't something I'd argue about considering how dire he was.
As we entered the last half an hour, Spurs began to push a little more forward. More so than the opening 60 minutes. And Liverpool, having removed Keane, began to falter a little. Superb, slick passing - but little in the way of testing Gomes. And when Gomes was tested, he did well (as opposed to his usual theatrics like his pass to nobody that found Keane who played it to Gerrard who hit the top of the bar).
We then got our bit of luck in the form of Jamie Carragher. 3rd goal for Spurs this. Twenty minutes left, and everyone was pretty chuffed. With Stoke beating Arsenal (ha!) and Wigan picking up all points at Pompey, taking all three points suddenly became a possibility, more so out of desperation not to be too far adrift from the safety of 17th place. If Liverpool weren't gonna score a second, then why not us?
And Pav should have made it 2 but somehow managed to blaze it over. But not to worry. Cue the 91st minute and a strike by Bentley that was saved by Reina but not held, allowing Bent to cut the ball back to Pav, who this time slotted it in.
Cue pandemonium in the stands. DVD already in the Spurs shop.
Lucky? Yeah, sure. Reina, was almost as average as Gomes was in parts today. Its usually Liverpool doing this to other teams. I'm more than fucking happy to see us be bossed about for the majority of the game but still win.....and against one of the Cartels. Make that 5 points out of a possible 9 against Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. That's a pretty tasty stat. For a change.
And as for the Challenge Spurs™ 'Dirty Dozen'. Spurs are making a mockery of my original predictions. 7 points from 9 games - 2 points dropped out of 3 games. Off the bottom, 2 points from safety.
We are obviously still not on the top of our game, but anyone expecting so or criticising our 'luck' is forgetting the misery of the games prior to Harry's arrival. The players have pulled themselves out of a hole. Still more work to be done, but suddenly all talk of going down is secondary to our revival and White Hart Lane has finally rediscovered a bit of personality again.
The fans were in great voice (after we made it 1-1, we woke up). Thankfully the applause for Keane was louder than the boos. The celebrations for Pav's goal were a combination of relief and a bit of 'FUCKING COME ON' which has been a long time coming.
Special mentions to Corluka (at left-back in the second half), Modric who suddenly isn't easy to knock off the ball and has an uncanny ability to receive it and play it off in the tightest of spaces....and as for Pav - he may not be Berbatov, but at least he smiles and celebrates properly. Something Berba didn't quite manager for us against a Top 4 club in the Prem.
And also, well done 'arry. Good half time team talk. Great substitutions. We struggled for a while to pass the ball with decent possession and push forward with it.
Our players persevered. And how refreshing to see Spurs going for it in the final 10 rather than sitting back like Christ knows how many times in the past.
Top (unbeaten since March in the Prem and unbeaten all season) versus bottom (rejuvenated and riding their luck). Three points. Perfect day.
Roll on Citeh.
P.S. Bale doesn't play: We win. EXORCISE HIM.
Keep on mouthing off you horrid little man. Had Fabregas scored that we'd never hear the end of it, about how brilliant the technique was and how he spotted the keeper off his line and aimed for the back of the net.
Which is exactly what Bentley did, you shit-eyed twat.
But the announcement that Sherwood is on his way (part-time) in a capacity that he doesn't even know yet, is some what worrying. I've given my reasons on this already in a previous blog. The bloke has spent his time (since leaving Spurs as a player) slagging us off and churning out anti-Spurs bullshit on that bullshit radio station. Yet another prime example of how fickle and two-faced people in the game are.
He's a shit pundit so hopefully Harry is just after someone to wash the players boots.
Since then, I've watched the footage where Jamie asks 3 times for the production team to show it, with Richard Keyes scoffing and suggesting he was 'clutching at straws'. Until of course, the other angle proves Bentley was tripped.
Seems having his dad as the manager of the much maligned Tottenham (violin plays) has sent Jamie a little insane. How dare he question Sky and their bias in favour of their Top Four©.
May the madness continue.